Scenes From The 21st Century – Issue 17

FISHING FOR COMPLAINTS

Scene is a small local fish and chip shop, early autumn evening.

 Customer:  I’d like that one (pointing at a battered fish)

Servant: You can’t have that one.

Customer: Why?

Servant:  You can’t.

Customer: Prithee, I desire that particular, singular cod piece.

Servant: (no expression) You can’t.

Customer: Can I choose peas or beans?

Servant: Yes.

Customer: So why can’t I choose that fish, there?

Servant: You can’t.

Customer: (showing the servant a picture of the universe) Can you see this dilemma on this picture?

Servant: (unmoved) You can’t have that fish, there, but you can have this other one.

Customer: (throwing hands skyward before clasping forehead)  OMC! Oh My Cod! Do You know this fish well, madam?

Servant: You can’t have that fish there but you can have this other one.

Customer: Can I give you some advice, madam? I think you should disguise the other fish, maybe as a Haddock or Hake, or you might cover them with tea cosies so as to remove any misunderstanding of choice.

(Another servant swaps incredulous glances with the customer and reddens in embarrassment.)

Servant: You can’t have that one but you can have this one.

Customer: Why?

Servant:  Because you can’t have that one there.

Customer: Is it a case of nearer my Cod to thee, madam?

Servant: (unmoved)  You can’t have it.

Customer: But it’s a choice cut! Is it a case of these Cod having been here all night and you won’t allow queue jumping?

(No reaction from first servant but the other one rolls her eyes, not believing her ears)

Customer: (dumbfounded, with sense of reality battered, continues.)

Can I have Sea Salt and Moroccan vinegar on this strange piece you are determined to foist on me?

(Without any sense of irony the first servant proceeds to drown the lesser cod piece in Table Salt and common or garden Malt Vinegar.)

 (Paraphrasing a real story related by Suzanne Phoenix)

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